Orlando vegetarians have plenty of restaurant choices; novelty is the problem. The friendly members of Vegetarians of Central Florida address that issue with a weekly dinner meet-up for folks who prefer to eschew meat, not chew meat.

VegCF leader Allison D'Anna also organizes special events like the June 30 "Southern down-home" meal. Three courses of raw treats, including "meetballs," cornbread and "noodles" made of shaved zucchini, will be dished up by expert chef Olive Mackie.

"Raw food" doesn't mean a pile of crudité, by the way. Artful combinations of fruits, vegetables and nuts are juiced, pureed, sliced and otherwise manipulated to create delicacies never heated above 105 degrees, thus preserving natural enzymes and nutrients.

(5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at Simply Well, 225 Edinburgh Drive, Winter Park; $20 advance, $25 at door; 407-599-9182;

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